Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades: Finch has to fire

Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers
Tuesday 5 January, 08:10
TV: live on BT Sport

Renegades depleted

The Renegades, who finished bottom last season, are on course for another miserable campaign. They have one win from seven.

Last time out Perth Scorchers got hold of their bowlers to post 185 and their batting collapsed horribly. They managed only 89.

It is tempting to say that their big issue is with the ball - twice they have conceded more than 200. But they were also bowled for just 60 against the Sixers and 80 against the Thunder. They have suffered the three biggest defeats in Bash history in a month.

When you look at their line-up it is hard to see why a team with such high-quality performers are struggling. Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson and Josh Lalor form a terrific spine. It is possible that they have already checked out and just want the season over with.

Unfortunately, both Marsh and Rossouw are absent for this game. Mackenzie Harvey and Jake Fraser McGurk are set to come in. Pakistan spinner Imad Wasim returns, though.

Possible XI Harper, Finch, Harvey, Webster, Fraser-McGurk, Nabi, Imad, Richardson, Lalor, Hatzoglou, Ahmad.

Strikers limited

Strikers have now low their last two after a brief flirtation with the top of the table. It is what should be expected for an average team with a flaky batting line-up.

The key for the Strikers is to remain in contention and pick up wins at the right time to squeeze into the play-off position. But with Sixers, Thunder, Stars, Scorchers and Hurricanes all looking significantly stronger it could be a forlorn hope.

They have big problems with their opening partnership. Jake Weatherald and Phil Salt have both struggled for consistency. They paired the latter with Renshaw in a convincing defeat by Sixers. Possible solutions are opening with Rashid Khan or giving Alex Carey maximum batting time.

Possible XI Salt, Renshaw, Carey, Wells, Weatherald, Gibson, Rashid, Briggs, Worrall, Siddle, W Agar

Pitch report

We know the Adelaide Oval well. It is one for defenders. There’s a 65.5% bias for the team batting first in the last five competitions. This is the first match played at the venue in this year’s campaign. The average score batting first is 160.5 and 65.5% of sides batting first bust the 160 mark. The highest score batting first is 217 and the biggest chase is 183. Taking a risk on 170 or more might make sense with such a solid statistical base to work with.

Toss vital for Renegades

The Strikers are 1.738/11 for success with Renegades 2.33. The former would be a good price if we knew that the toss was going to go their way.

Transversely, don’t Renegades rate value if they get the chance to defend? Probably. We fret about their bowling more than their batting for sure but with runscoring Adelaide’s weakest suit by a long way those worries are allayed.

The best course of action is to look for a trade with Renegades batting first. We could pinch some green at around the 1.804/5 mark with a 160 on the board and an early wicket against that weak Adelaide opening partnership.

Finch flop

The curious case of Aaron Finch continues to beduffle. The moist reliable rungetter in T20 in the world, Finch is yet to top score in six attempts. Surely now is the time with Marsh absent?

Sportsbook go 21/10. It’s a tempting price. The problem is Finch’s run has been so poor that there is now no edge on win rate. He is down at 30% and Sportsbook rate him at 32%.

There is a bet to be had on top Strikers bowler, however. Wes Agar continues to be the most underrated top-bowler wager in the tournament. He has been pushed out to 4/1 from 7/2.

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